Ambassador Gun
When In Hell

I kinda dug the last album from these young Minneapolis pseudo grinders, back when they were called A Second From the Surface. Though it was still sort of squealing, chaotic nu grind at its core, it had a hearty punk backbone and some surprising melodies thrown into the mix.

Little has changed other than the band name as Ambassador Gun, now on their own imprint label, Pangea Recordings deliver 16 bursts of noise in about half an hour of what I would call grindcore- lite. That’s to say its not quite up there with some of this years truly ravaging, skin peeling grindcore like Insect Warfare, Mumakil, Blood I Bleed or Kill The Client, but very close. But neither is it total kiddie grind like bands like Robinson, Destroyer Destroyer, Heavy Heavy Low Low and their annoying ilk. But there is some appeal to both sets of fans on When In Hell.

The power chord based throes and punk delivery certainly culls from classic grindcore, but Ambassador Gun just lacks that primal oomph and menace to hang with the big boys in real grindcore. That along with their all screamed, almost decipherable grind lite/screamo vocals, occasional gang chants and the subtle melodies keep then from being utterly vicious, and that’s where they may appeal to the younger set (i.e. “Taylor Reign”). It’s almost like pop punk and screamo mated with Nasum (just listen to “Steady Diet”, “Death Nail”, “Animal Fight”, “Reprisal” and “Bottom Feeder”).

Still, there’s some furious blasting and screeching going on here as tracks like “Killed Hookers Money”, “Serpent Stampede”, “When In Hell”, “So Pristine” and blistering closer “Delorean” have some nice vitriolic chord progressions and a decent balance of fury and melody without being too grating or too friendly. The overall sense of urgency is tangible and the end result is a nice slab of modern grind that won’t offend old school grinders, but could also move some units at Hot Topic without being to scenester or trendy as there’s some genuine conviction and rage here.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
October 28th, 2009

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